Australian Army reveals electric Bushmaster development

Bushmaster ePMV
Bushmaster ePMV

The Australian Army has unveiled a prototype of a new hybrid electric-powered Bushmaster 4×4 protected mobility vehicle at the Chief of Army Symposium 2022 that was from 9-11 August in Adelaide.

The symposium includes the Army Innovation Day, Army Future Forum, Army Robotics Exposition and the Army Quantum Technology Challenge, bringing together industry, academia and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite said the prototype vehicle, called the electric Protected Military Vehicle (ePMV), is a key part of the Australian Army’s modernisation effort.

“We have seen great success with Australian designed and built vehicles keeping personnel safe under fire and the new ePMV represents the next innovative stage in that tradition,” Thistlethwaite said in a statement. “This ePMV brings the benefits of electric vehicles to the battlefield, particularly being quieter than its combustion counterparts, and I look forward to seeing it perform in field trials.”

“As we are seeing around the world today, modern military personnel are joined on their missions by machines,” he added, noting that the symposium enables the Australian Army as well as the wider ADF to collaborate with the local defence industry to explore new and emerging technologies.

The prototype ePMV features a series hybrid propulsion system that comprises a diesel engine that produces up to 400 kW of continuous power for vehicle electronics and mission systems, as well as charge batteries that enable the vehicle to operate for up to 24-36 hours on ‘silent watch’ or travel distances of 200-300 km.

In contrast, a conventionally powered Bushmaster vehicle offers an unrefuelled range of up to 800 km.

Besides the Bushmaster ePMV, other 4×4 protected vehicles that could potentially be powered by hybrid electric drives include the Nexter Serval in service with the French Army.

by Jr Ng